A Solid Week Of Lameness (7/29/03)

Why, what's this? Still more evidence that BuyMusic.com sucks? You betcha, folks-- it just keeps coming, wave after wave of it, unceasing and endless just like those bug-looking swoopy alien things in Galaga. Rather than try to weave this into some semblance of a narrative (c'mon, you already know the plot: jackass shamelessly rips off iTunes Music Store while simultaneously badmouthing same, jackass drags wife-beating ex-con porn-making hair-metal rock personality along on a $40 million lie-filled marketing blitz which mysteriously neglects to mention that the service chews spew, etc.), we're opting for a simple list form, which seems a little more efficient given the circumstances. So without further ado, we give you... BuyMusic Bleeaauuurghh!

  • Faithful viewer Michael McKinney was the first to point out USA Today's interesting little slam, which notes a couple of relevant facts: one is that BuyMusic refuses to divulge its first-week sales numbers, although Buy.dork Scott Blum tersely admits that "it's not millions." The other is that apparently BuyMusic kindasorta forgot to enable the transfer of any of its songs to portable music devices. "We're working on this," said Blum. Hey Scott, a little tip for you: the best time to work on stuff like this is before you sell broken music to your customers. Just a helpful tip. (BuyMusic claims to have fixed the problem and is magnanimously allowing customers to re-download their music in non-screwed-up form. Oh, joy.)

  • Meanwhile, faithful viewer Greg W. notes a thread over in Ars Technica's InfoPop forums that reveals a fun fact about BuyMusic songs: apparently they can't be backed up. Or, at least, the licenses can't be backed up, which basically means the same thing: if your hard disk dies, so does your music, and it's not restorable. Contrast this with the iTMS, which lets you back up your songs however you want, including by burning as many audio CDs as you like. (On a related note, several viewers pointed out that even reformatting one's hard drive doesn't deauthorize a given Mac from playing a specific customer's iTMS songs, throwing a little more weight behind yesterday's crackpot conspiracy theory that the formerly MusicDirect-/Microsoft-employed Shawn Yeager concocted his tale of newly-Canadian iTMS woe in an attempt to discredit Apple's service. If you're bent that way, go wild.)

  • Lastly (for now), faithful viewer Jody Whitesides is a recording artist whose music is about to appear on the iTMS. (Yay, Jody!) The pertinent bit, though, is that he was surprised to discover that his songs are also listed over at BuyMusic.com-- as are the songs of several of his friends, none of whom had any inkling of how or why. The situation appears to be that BuyMusic got most of its 300,000-song catalog from The Orchard, a distribution company that has an "iffy" reputation when it comes to remembering to pay the artists for the music it sells. So at least some of BuyMusic's catalog "comes from musicians/bands that were not asked for permission, and who will likely not see a penny of any sale." Terriffic. Jody's currently checking into his options to force the removal of her songs from BuyMusic, legal-wise, and if you're a musician with a recording, we recommend that you disable Javascript in your browser and take a quick check over at BuyMusic.com just to be sure they aren't selling your music without your knowledge, too.

So that's today's batch. Fear not, we're sure there's plenty more bile where that came from. Given the level of outrage against Blum's venture from so many parties on so many levels, we figure we'll be seeing lots of stuff like this until BuyMusic becomes ByeMusic.

SceneLink (4106)
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The above scene was taken from the 7/29/03 episode:

July 29, 2003: Rumors swirl that the continued lack of new PowerBooks is all Motorola's fault. Meanwhile, customers and artists alike continue to discover new and exciting reasons to despise BuyMusic.com, and while dual-processor Power Mac G5s may be delayed until late September, at least Panther appears to provide an alternative to the brushed metal Finder...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4105: Don't Expect A Tip, Either (7/29/03)   "Hey, AtAT," you ask, "just where the Galvin are those new PowerBooks that everyone's been waiting for since June's price cut?" Well, it's funny that you should take the Chris's name in vain, there, Binky...

  • 4107: Brushed Metal Madness (7/29/03)   The masses have spoken, and generally speaking, while they would love some brushed metal on their desktops, they don't want it anywhere near their Finder. (Okay, technically we don't think the Power Mac G5 enclosure is brushed metal, but hey, cut us a little slack.)...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

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